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My First Facial.... Piercing. (Vertical Labret)

The only thing that has kept me from getting facial piercings in the past were rules at my school. They had a very strict rule of no visible piercings other than your ears. People the put clear retainers in their piercings even eventually got caught and stuck in suspension until they took it out. So after my high school graduation there was no question about it: I was going to get pierced.

I always wanted to pierce my lip. I had looked at hundreds of pictures and read hundreds of reviews here on BME and instantly fell in love with the vertical labret. It was small and dainty. It wouldn't rub on my teeth or gums. And I loved how it looked in the center of lips, which was important because I wanted something done centered or else I wouldn't feel balanced.

About 3 days after graduation I decided it was time to get my first facial piercing, a vertical labret.

I told a few of my friends that I was going to go ahead with it and they insisted that they come along. So a few friends came along with me to Tattoo Shop (a very generic name) the shop that I frequent. I'm very comfortable at this shop. My chestpiece was done by an artist there, and Larry the piercer has done my other piercings including my nipples. I walked up to the counter and was instantly greeted by Larry and a few of the other artists. I told Larry that I wanted a vertical labret and he raised his eyebrows and smiled. He said he loves doing those because not many people come in asking for them. I filled out the paperwork and Larry disappeared into the back to get everything ready.

My friends were wandering around the shop looking at the tattoo flash on the walls because they had never really been in a tattoo shop before. Most of my friends are not modded. My friend Rachel was looking through the portfolio of the artist that did my chest piece and was thrilled to see the picture it in there.

Soon Larry called me back and my friends followed to the back room. I hopped up on the bench and prepared myself for the worst. Everything was spotless and clean as usual and Larry had everything laid out for the procedure except for the jewelry. He asked if I wanted it done at a 14 gauge curved barbell or something else and I told him that I really preferred a 16 gauge with small ends on it. Larry left the room and returned holding a baggie with the jewelry in it. "Lucky," he says, "This is my last one like this."

He then proceeded have me swish with some mouthwash and he wiped off my lip several times. Larry asked me a few questions about placement and then marked my lip with some ink and a toothpick. I looked in the mirror and had him remark it because it didn't look quite as centered as I wanted. He said that they are often hard to get perfectly centered because everyone's face is different. For example, the dimple in my chin might not be perfectly centered with my nose and therefore might throw off the look of the piercing. After the second try marking I decided that it looked as close to perfect as possible and gave him the ok.

Now is when I got really nervous. Larry put the clamps on my lip. Honestly, the clamps don't hurt that bad. Just a little pressure is all. My friends now have their eyes glued on me. As if I wasn't nervous enough already! Larry get the needle out and lines it up with the marking and tells me to take a deep breath and as I exhale he pushed the needle through. OUCH. I wince. It definitely hurt, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. But honestly, piercing my rook hurt much worse. The worst part of this entire piercing was putting the jewelry through. Putting the curved barbell through hurt worse than the piercing itself and I had to wait a minute before he could screw the ball on.

After I got myself together I got up and looked in the mirror. Perfect. The barbell is the perfect length and the placement is perfect as well. Before I left I bought some alcohol free mouth wash and sea salt.

As far as healing goes. I now know how important it is to make sure the initial jewelry accommodates for swelling. I woke up the next morning with the top ball sinking a little into my lip. I took something to reduce the swelling and went to the shop to have Larry take a look at it. He said it was alright, just take something to keep the swelling down for the first week and it should be fine. But if it gets any worse to come in and he would take it out and then repierce it later on for no charge. The swelling stayed down after that luckily. I soak my lip in seasalt AT LEAST once a day. One thing that I have found very helpful are small paper bathroom cups. You can cut them smaller so they're only about an inch tall, this way it is easier to stick your lip in and you don't have to use as much salt or water. The alcohol free mouthwash (Tech 2000) is a miracle worker. I use it after I eat or drink and randomly throughout the day, as this reduced irritation. Crest also just recently came out with an alcohol free mouth wash that is much easier to find than Tech 2000. Straws also became my best friend. Until your piercing starts to really heal, it is hard to drink our of a glass or can. I ended up carrying around straws with me in my purse for about two weeks. The piercing itself takes some getting used to. You don't realize how much you use your lips when you eat! I took it easy with finger foods for a few days because forks and other utensils are more difficult to maneuver around the piercing.

I hope my experience has been some help to you. Although a vertical labret is painful, the end result is well worth the pain!

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 18 July 2005
in Lip Piercing

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Artist: Larry
Studio: Tattoo+Shop
Location: Midland%2C+Texas

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